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Untitled - Fruit Pickers

Circa 1930's

Watercolor on paper, 19.5" x 24" sight size


Untitled - Fruit Pickers

Circa 1930's

watercolor on paper

19.5" x 24" sight size

(b. 1953)


(1879 - 1947)

Born to a poor family in Sweden, Borg was largely a self-taught artist. He copied pictures out of books as a child, and at age fifteen assisted a house painter. By age twenty Borg left home for London where he recieved a job as an assistant to the marine and portrait artist, George Johansen.

In 1901 he sailed for the U.s. and landed in San Francisco. He then walked the rail tracks to Los Angeles. Along the way he met William Wendt and learned from his painting techniques.

Borg made it to L.A. in 1902 and got a job in the film industry as a scene painter.In 1905 he traveled all over California and the southwest sketching. That same year he had his first one-man exhibition. He caught the eye of Phoebe Hearst, mother of the newspaper tycoon William Randolf Hearst. She sponsored Borg to further his fine art studies in Pari, where he remained for five years.

Back in the States, in 1915 he quickly gained notoriety as a prize winner in the Panama-Pacific Exposition. He moved to Santa Barbara and became close friends with Edward Borein, with whom he traveledand painted. He later taught at the School of Arts in Santa Barbara.

From 1924 to 1935 he traveled California and Arizona doing commissioned paintings, for Phoebe hearst, of Southwest Native American tribal ceremonies and also Grand Canyon landscapes.

When World War II started he was forced to return to Sweden, where his desert and Native American portraits became very popular. At the end of the war he returned to Santa Barbara where he died on May 8, 1947.


Jessie Arms Botke was one of the most celebrated decorative painters of the twentieth century.  At a time when landscape painters were enjoying great success, she was often exhibited, with her very individual style, right along with them.

Born in Chicago, Jessie Arms received her academic training at the Art Institute of Chicago.  In 1911 she went to work for Herter Looms as a designer.  It is here, while designing the details for tapestries and murals, that she found her love of painting birds, and in particular, the white peacock.  She is quoted as saying: “My interest in birds was not sentimental, it was always what sort of pattern they made and the white peacock was so appealing because it was a simple, but beautiful white form to be silhouetted against dark backround, and the texture and pattern of the lacy tail broke the harshness of the white mass without loosing the simplicity of the pattern.”

In 1914 she met Cornelis Botke and they married in 1915.  Cornelis was an artist as well and thus began a lifelong partnership that included working as a team on many artistic projects. 

The Botkes moved to California in 1918, first locating to Carmel and eventually to “Wheeler Ranch” in Santa Paula (a small town north of Los Angeles ).

In the years 1918 and 1919 Botke began to enjoy great success through recognition at Exhibits and was the recipient of a number of honors.  Botke’s paintings were receiving favorable critical reviews and they were selling well.

The Botkes moved to Wheeler Ranch in 1929.  They built a studio and split their time between painting and farming the property.  Here, in the rural surroundings and slower paced lifestyle, Jessie believed that she and Cornelis did their best painting.

The stock market crash of 1929 had an ill effect on sales of paintings for Botke, as it did for most artists.  An exhibit held by Stendahl Gallery in 1930 was a success (14 of 20 paintings sold) and that helped.  Exhibitions (and awards) continued through the 1930’s.  Botke is quoted as saying a “life of leisure is the bunk….I can’t imagine anything more boring than complete leisure”.  For most of her life she painted or sketched almost every day.

Botke continued to paint until 1967 when she suffered a stroke.  That her paintings were popular throughout her lifetime, and have remained so, is a testament to her staying power and the beauty she created.  She died in 1971 at the age of eighty-eight.

Her paintings can be found in many public and private collections including the Irvine Museum, Fleischer Museum, Art Institute of Chicago and many others.


(1879 -1963)

Angel Espoy was born in Villa Nueva, on October 2, 1879.  He left home at the age of 18 to work as a first mate in the Spanish Merchant Marines.  While in that capacity, he acquainted himself with every detail of the clipper ships that he later painted. 

His desire to paint took him to Barcelona where he studied with Joaquin Sorolla (1863-1923).


Following his father’s tobacco interests in the , he made many trips to the at the turn of the century.  He spent two years in Havana where he began to earn his living as an artist by painting designs on furniture.  Destitute, he made his way to New York City in 1904.


He moved to San Francisco in 1914.  There he supported himself for seven years making cartoons for movies while painting on weekends with Manuel Valencia, Carl Jonnevold, and John Califano.  In 1922 he moved to Southern California and from that time was able to subsist by the sale of his paintings.  Espoy died in Seal Beach on January 31, 1963.


He was a member of the Los Angeles Art Association. He exhibited at the Madrid International Expo in 1912, and had a solo exhibition at Barker Bros Galleries, Los Angeles in 1934. His works are held at the Los Angeles City Hall, Oakland Museum and Loyola University.


Son of the renowned painter, Charles Gruppe, Emile was born in 1896 in Rochester, New York. In addition to being raised by an artistic father, Emile had extensive art schooling at the National Academy of Design in New York City, the Art Students League, and at the Grand Chaumiere in Paris. He also received instruction from artists Charles Chapman, George Bridgeman, Richard Miller and John F. Carlson. It is with these artist-mentors that he later founded, in 1942, the Gruppe Summer School in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

Emile Gruppe lived for most of his professional career in Gloucester, Massachusetts and is best known for his impressionistic scenes of fishing boats docked at Gloucester and Rockport. However, Gruppe was a versatile artist who is also recognized for adept landscape painting, winter scenes, figures and portraits.

Gruppe lived a long and prolific life, passionate about his art and about sharing his skill and creativity with others. In an interview late in his life, he is quoted as saying: “If you want exacting details in a painting, than you might as well look at a photograph. I make an impression on canvas, and let one’s imagination fill in the details.”


An artist with tremendous range of talent, Norman Kennedy was an actor, muralist, bookplate designer, and illustrator. He was born in Colorado on May 11, 1890. By the 1920's he had moved to Southern California. After a brief career as a silent screen actor, he sttled in La Jolla. While there, he appears to have been most active a muralist. He painted murals in personal residences and for buildings such as the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, the US Building & Loan Association in San Diego and Casa Romantica in San Clemente.

In the 1930's he moved to Florida and became one of the nation's leading magazine illustrators.

Kennedy died in La Jolla, California on July 19, 1975.


The second of eight children, Edgar Payne was born near Washburn, Missouri.  His was a farming family and at a very early age he had to work long hours on the farm.  This was not an existence he enjoyed and by the age of 14 he had left home with the desire to make his living as an artist.

He began his career by traveling the countryside designing and painting scenery for the stage and murals for homes and theaters.  He ended up for a time in Texas and then in Chicago.  Primarily a self-taught artist, he studied for a very brief period at the Art Institute in Chicago.

In 1909 Payne made his first trip to California, spending time in Laguna Beach and in San Francisco.  In San Francisco he met Elsie Palmer, also an artist.  Their romance took hold later when they were both working in Chicago, and they married in 1912.

In 1919 the Paynes moved to Laguna Beach and set up their home and studio there.  Though Payne was a man who preferred privacy, he saw the need for an organization in Laguna Beach wherein the local artists could display and sell their art.  He spearheaded the formation of the Laguna Beach Art Assocation in 1920 and served as its first President. 

In 1922 the Paynes, along with their daughter, Evelyn, set off for a 2 year trip to Europe.  They traveled throughout France, England and Italy.  From his Rome studio, Payne painted The Great White Peak, a stunning depiction of one of the most impressive peaks in the Swiss Alps.  Not only was this painting accepted into the Paris Salon of 1923, but was awarded Honorable Mention as well.  It was during this time in Europe that Edgar became enchanted with the fishing boats of Breton and the Adriatic which he studied and painted in all their colorful detail.

A habitual traveler, Payne is well known for his grand depictions of the Southwest including views of Canyon de Chelly.  But the High Sierras is perhaps the place that he felt most at home.  Often camping in remote regions of the Sierras for weeks at a time, he created a tremendous body of work.  In his honor there is a lake in the Sierras named “Payne Lake”.

It is Payne’s mastery of the High Sierras which has earned him the enduring recognition as a premier landscape painter.  Payne rarely dated any of his paintings, but a rough chronology can sometimes be determined by the change from his early subdued tones, with careful brushstrokes, to his later style with bold, broader and looser brushstrokes.  High in the Sierras is a beautiful example of this later style and his mastery of the mountain landscape and was likely painted in the 1920’s or later.

Payne died in Hollywood in 1947.  Payne is considered a premier American artist and his works enjoy international recognition.


Hanson Puthuff was born in 1875 in Waverly, Missouri to a struggling carpenter, Alonzo Augustus Duvall.   His mother died when he was 2 years old and her close friend, Elizabeth Stanley Puthuff, a Civil-War widow, took Puthuff in and raised him.  Theirs was a close relationship and ultimately he assumed her name. 

Early on Puthuff showed artistic talent and Elizabeth helped him to enroll in the University of Denver Art School.  He graduated in 1893 at the age of eighteen.  He later studied at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. 

For a brief period he worked as a mural painter before returning to Denver in 1894.  There he found employment designing posters for an advertising firm.

In 1903 Puthuff moved to Los Angeles and worked as a billboard painter until 1926.  At that time, billboards were painted on site, and he and his assistants would be transported via horse drawn carts.  They would be dropped off at the billboard, and upon completion of the sign, they would spend the remainder of the day painting the landscape around them.  He found the interplay of the natural beauty of the Southern California landscape with the light at various times of the day so enchanting that he painted these landscapes almost exclusively from that time on. 

His life spanned two 30-year marriages.  In 1910 he married May Longest, a commercial artist and co-worker.  They had 5 children.  After her death, he married Louise Ashbridge White in 1940, a marriage that lasted until his death in 1972.

In 1926 Puthuff left commercial art and the Santa Fe Railroad offered him one of his first commissions.  He was asked to paint scenes of the Grand Canyon for use in their advertisements.  Those paintings are today owned by the Fleischer Museum in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Much of Puthuff’s work was painted around his homes in La Canada and Corona Del Mar. He also painted the Sierras and frequently accompanied Edgar Payne on painting trips to Canyon de Chelly in Arizona. 

Puthuff founded the Art Students League in Los Angeles, he was a founding member of the California Art Club, a member of the Laguna Beach Art Association, the Pasadena Society of Artists and the Painters and Sculptors Club.

He received numerous awards including two silver medals, Panama-California Exposition, San Diego, 1915; a gold medal, California State Fair, Sacramento, 1918; a first prize, Laguna Beach Art Association, in 1920 and 1921; a gold medal, Painters of the West, 1927; a silver medal, Pacific Southwest Exposition, Long Beach, 1928; and a purchase prize, Chicago Galleries Association, 1931.

He died in Corona Del Mar in 1972.


Birger Sandzen had a long distinguished career as an art professor at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas and as an impressionist landscape painter.  He is best known for his modernist style with masses of paint, akin to that of Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Cezanne and for Rocky Mountain landscapes.  His early work is Tonalist in style in the manner of Scandanavian Romanticism.  After he began taking trips to Colorado, his work became much more Expressionist and brightly colored.

Sven Birger Sandzen was born in Blidsberg, Sweden.  His mother had studied drawing and his father, a minister, enjoyed writing poetry and playing the violin.  Birger’s parents noticed his artistic inclination and they gave him his first watercolor box and enlisted drawing lessons from a young minister when Birger was 9 years old.    Sandzen’s formal education began at the Skara School in Skara, Sweden at the age of ten.  At Skara, Sandzen studied with Olaf Erlandsson who introduced the young artist to oil painting.

After graduation from Skara in 1890, Sandzen studied for a semester at Lund University in Lund, Sweden.  The following year the young artist went to Stockholm with the intention of studying at the Royal Academy.  Sandzen was disappointed to find that there were no vacancies at the Academy and a long list of applicants.  However, he learned of a class being formed by one of Sweden’s greatest painters and etchers, Anders Zorn.  Sandzen studied with Zorn, Richard Bergh and Per Hasselberg in what was later to become the Artists League.

Early in 1894, Sandzen was accepted into a painting class taught by Aman-Jean in a studio the artist shared in Paris with Georges Seurat.  Aman-Jean promoted Impressionism and introduced Sandzen to Pointillism.  Birger used a Pointillist, or Tonalist, approach to painting in his work until around 1910. 

Sandzen learned about an opening on the faculty of Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas from a classmate in Paris, and he applied, asking the College President if they could use a young artist who could sing tenor and teach French.  He was hired by the college and relocated to Kansas in the fall of 1894.  In addition to assisting in the Art Department, Sandzen began his first year instructing in German, French and Swedish.  In 1899 he was appointed principal art teacher and head of the Art Department.  Sandzen held both positions until his retirement in 1946, after which time he was Professor Emeritus.

While respected as an educator, Sandzen was equally revered for his work as a painter, illustrator, engraver and lithographer.  The Babcock Galleries in New York hosted two large exhibitions of Sandzen’s work in 1922 and 1923.  His sponsors, the American-Scandanavian Foundation, enthusiastically invited him to come.  Sandzen’s reply was that he had classes and could not leave. 

Sandzen first visited the Rocky Mountains of Colorado in 1908 and began painting in the Colorado Springs area around 1916.  He made his first trip to New Mexico in 1918 and was a frequent visitor to Santa Fe and Taos in the years that followed.  He was elected an associate member of the Taos Society of Artists in 1922. 

Though he traveled often, Sandzen continued to live in Lindsborg until his death in 1954.


Orrin Augustine White was born on December 5, 1883 in Hanover, Illinois.  Although artistically inclined at an early age, White did not pursue an art career until he was in his thirties.

After receiving a B.A. degree from Notre Dame University in 1902, he studied textile design at the Philadelphia School of Applied Arts until 1906.  A few years were spent as assistant professor of chemistry at Portland University and as a textile designer in his parent’s factory.  Tiring of this kind of work, he moved to Los Angeles in 1912 and worked for an interior design company while painting landscapes in his leisure time.  When his work was accepted for exhibition at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in 1915, he decided to devote full time to painting.  His art career was disrupted during World War I when he served as a second lieutenant in the 40th Engineers Camouflage.  Upon his discharge, White returned to Los Angeles and from that time earned his living as a landscape painter.

Married in 1923, he built a studio-home in Pasadena while making frequent sketching trips to Palm Springs, the Sierra’s and into Mexico in search of subject matter.  White died in Pasadena in 1969 having acquired national renown.

Exhibitions:  Art Institute of Chicago, California Art Club, Grand Central Art Galleries, Panama Pacific Exhibition of 1915.

Museums and Collections:  Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Oakland Museum of California, Springville Museum (Utah), Gardena High School Collection.

Copyright 2005 Katherine Norris Fine Art, LLC